A woman was killed by an umbrella while visiting the beach with her friend in South Carolina, in a freak accident caused by a strong gust of wind.
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Tammy Perreault, 63, and Sherry White were at Garden City beach on Wednesday when the wind picked up and hurled a beach umbrella at them, according to the coroner's statement to local station WYFF4.
Authorities say the umbrella impaled Perreault and left her severely injured. She was rushed to the hospital where she died about an hour later from chest trauma, the coroner said.
White later told WYFF4 that she saw the umbrella flying "through the air and it just kept going and going and everybody just said 'duck' and we ducked."
"Unfortunately, she was in the line of fire," White said of Perreault.
White added that the umbrellas were "not in the ground as far as they should be."
Many locals, including staff at the nearby Scotty's Beach Bar, mourned Perreault after the accident.
"Some things we will never begin to understand but what we do know is no one has a bad thing to say about this woman," the bar owners wrote on Facebook.
Beach umbrellas are considered potentially deadly because of the spiked end on the bottom and the risk of wind picking them up, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The agency has described them as "beach spears" in the past, and it recommends burying the bottom at least 2 feet in the sand and tilting the top into the wind.
\u201cAlways bury your beach umbrella at least 2ft into the sand and angle it into the wind #TuesdayMotivation\u201d— US Consumer Product Safety Commission (@US Consumer Product Safety Commission) 1564494992
The agency estimates that 3,000 people are injured each year by beach umbrellas, per the Associated Press.
It's unclear how many people have died in beach umbrella-related accidents, but another woman was killed by an umbrella in Virginia in 2016.
So if you're taking a beach umbrella to the shore, be careful!
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.